The new-generation 2022 Volkswagen Golf R could soon be in line for an additional 10kW power boost.
A section in the new Volkswagen Golf's British owners' manual – shared across the entire range, from base to performance R models – lists 'technical data' for all engines offered with the small car, from the entry-level 66kW 1.0-litre three-cylinder sold in Europe, to the 235kW 2.0-litre turbo-four used by the new Golf R hot hatch revealed in November 2020.
Listed alongside the 235kW 2.0-litre is a 245kW version of the same engine, producing an identical 420Nm of torque – a tune never seen before within the Volkswagen line-up, leading to speculation an even higher-performance R 'Plus' hot hatch halo could be in the works.
Previous rumours have indicated a potential Golf R Plus could either feature sister brand Audi's 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder, or a hybridised version of the standard R's 2.0-litre four-cylinder developing up to 300kW.
However, both powertrains would likely cannibalise sales of Audi's 294kW five-cylinder RS3 Sportback hot hatch, given the Volkswagen's inevitable lower starting price.
The same can't be said of a 245kW tune of the existing 2.0-litre mill, which would still fall around 50kW of short of the Golf R's Audi sibling, making it unlikely to steal sales – assuming the new-generation RS3, due to be unveiled by the end of 2021, doesn't receive a power bump.
Supporting the 245kW Plus rumour is a leaked slideshow published online in January 2020 – nine months prior to the 'standard' R's debut – indicated the Mk8 Golf R would produce 245kW. While the production car was officially revealed with 235kW, the slide's existence strongly suggests a punchier model is in development.
An alternate theory suggests the more powerful tune could be offered in non-European markets with less restrictive emissions regulations – however, the 245kW engine's inclusion in the British and German owners' manuals confirms the hi-po tune will be offered on the continent, quashing such rumours.
It's unclear whether a high-performance Golf R Plus flagship would make its way to Australia, with a Volkswagen Australia spokesperson confirming to CarAdvice following the standard Golf R's unveiling in November 2020 it was "too soon" to discuss which engine tune(s) would come to Australia.
However, the spokesperson added the brand's local arm's intention remains to "offer the most powerful Golf R available." We'd wager both models would be offered in time, given Australia's thirst for performance cars and status as one of Volkswagen R's biggest markets, despite our small overall size.
Hat tip to YouTube user Volkswizard for first discovering the 245kW listing.